Most heads turn, and sometimes even gasp audibly the moment the bride appears. The radiant, hopeful exuberance of a bride on her wedding day refreshes all who behold her.
If her glorious entry is not the most anticipated, then it is her groom’s face when he sees her for the first time. One of my favorite pictures from our wedding is, in fact, this moment. He cannot deny some expression of the emotion that overcomes him in that moment. See 24 different (and beautiful) reactions here. My favorite is #5.
The moment I have my tissues ready for comes later.
I always remember the scene from Father of the Bride, when George forgets that he is supposed to say, “her mother and I do” when asked “who gives this woman?” and simply says, “I do.” He mentally pauses over the word “woman” and grapples with the reality that his daughter is grown up. I wonder if this milestone marks adulthood in a way that the graduation cap and first job can’t contend with.
For me, the most emotional moment of a wedding is when the bride exchanges a hug or kiss with her father as he places her hand in the groom’s hand. It was the most emotional moment of my wedding.
During this most anticipated event, I was starkly unprepared for the sudden, bittersweet understanding of how precious life had been, as one of four Murrays, leading up to this moment.
As Father of the Bride so poignantly depicts, a wedding signifies celebration and a new beginning, but it also signifies the end of an era. I can’t describe the emotions I felt as my dad took his seat, but it’s a combination I relive and feel deeply whenever I watch the exchange between another father and bride.